Pretenders – Hate For Sale

The Pretenders - Hate for Sale



3.6/5 Pros

  • The Pretenders are still there
  • Some very classic Pretenders songs...
  • ... but also a nice range of sounds Cons

  • Very solid, but not good enough to be top ranked
  • Some weaker tracks as well

The Pretenders – what a big name in the music business. Undoubtedly, the band around Chrissie Hynde was big in the 1980’s and early 1990’s – and they are still alive. “Hate for Sale” is the band’s eleventh collection of songs. The album has been released on 17th July 2020.


The Pretenders – About The Artists

The Pretenders have been forund in Hereford, England, in 1978 already. The band is formed around lead singer Chrissie Hynde, who is oiriginally an Ohio girl. The initial formation consisted of her, James Honeyman-Scott, Peter Farndon and Martin Chambers. Hynde selected the band name in line of the song The Great Pretender by The Platters. The first two singles in 1979 already had quite remarkable chart placements in the United Kingdom, but Brass in Pocket, which topped the charts, was the big breakthrough. The corresponding self-titled album topped the UK charts as well. The band had quite some success in the following years, including the big hits Back on The Chain Gang (1982), 2000 Miles (1983) and, likely their biggest one, Don’t Get Me Wrong (1986). The latter was not too much of a success in the UK itself, but for example topped the UK charts.

One reason the band was in the news in the 1980’s was drug abuse. Just two days after Peter Farndon had to leave the band due to that reason, Honeyman-Scott died of heart failure caused by cocaine intolerance. Farndon died about a year later, in 1983, drowing in the bathtub after taking heroin. Around 1990, Hynde was the only Pretender left in the band, releasing songs with studio musicians. The 1990 single Never Do That made it to the Top 5 in the US charts. Hynde partnered with other band members and had a nice success in 1994 with the single I’ll Stand by You. The 1994 album Last of the Independents also did quite well in the charts. The band felt to be quite stable around that time until now, there were just very infrequent lineup changes. Chambers is back in the band since 1994. Hate For Sale, the eleventh studio album by the band, has additionally been recorded with Carwyn Ellis, James Walbourne and Nick Wilkinson.


The Pretenders – Hate For Sale – Track by Track

Hate For Sale consists of ten tracks. The playing time is 30 minutes.

1. Hate for Sale

Hate for Sale – the title track is exactly I had would have imagined an Pretenders song nowadays: sounds like alternative rock, a bit of old and dusty… But cool. I know that I might not like that sound for a whole album, but the title track definitely makes me smile.

2. The Buzz

For the buzz
I can’t get no relief
You’ve reduced me to a liar
A liar and a thief
Love, oh love
I can only prove you’re real
By the scratching and the fever
Proof for a believer
You see how a shot of love makes you feel?

The Buzz is significantly more melodic. Still that 1980’s touch in the songs. Very nice track, eye-catcher, for sure.

3. Lightning Man

Hmm, what’s that? Lightning Man is swaying quite strong, even comes with a touch of reggae. After I loved the first two tracks, I would see the third song rather in the average regions, maybe even below that.

4. Turf Accountant Daddy

Calling a song Turk Accountant Daddy is likely a quite unique selection. The song clearly connects to the first two songs, but is not as present, as powerful as the beginning of the album. Bad luck – as it got this Pretenders touch definitely.

5. You Can’t Hurt a Fool

You Can’t Hurt a Fool is a die-hard ballad – and I really love it! Very atmospheric, great song, nice Chrissie Hynde singing. I feel younger again 🙂

6. I Didn’t Know When to Stop

Guitas from the very beginning – this is a clear statement that we do not continue with the romantic and soft tunes. Riffs are back to Hate For Sale – and this track even has elements like the harmonica. Nice sound, even though not a superb blast.

7. Maybe Love Is in NYC

Rocking sound, very melodic and a quite cool chorus – I definitely like the sound of the seventh track of the album as well. Will not make it to my Song of the Year selection, but does a pretty solid performance.

8. Junkie Walk

The Junkie Walk is somehow nice and catchy, but it just does not reach me. The chorus with its strong rhythm is just quite present, but I do not enjoy that walk too much. Sorry.

9. Didn’t Want to Be This Lonely

Well I didn’t wanna be this lonely
Though losing you was a relief
From a life with one man only
Devoid of morals or belief

That’s cool, the strong rocking rhythm feels like rock’n’roll of the 1970’s. My highlight of the album. The track might not be an outstanding composition, but it makes me dance and smile.

10. Crying in Public

The piano and string ballad Crying in Public is a quite nice arrangement. I somehow do not like the vocals as much as I did in ballads before. It is a solid song, could have much more potential, somehow.


The Pretenders – Hate For Sale – Spotify

Here is the Spotify widget for Hate For Sale:


The Pretenders – Hate For Sale – My View

The Pretenders do quite a lot of things right at this Hate For Sale. There are different sounds, different elements. There are some really good tracks. Yes, the 2020 edition of their musical selection also has some weakness. And it is not good enough for the Olymp of music. But it is a pretty good listen. Worth a try!



British Media Reviews

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